27th Summer Universiade in Kazan,

July 6-17 2013

FISU Conference: E-media is future of sports coverage

The FISU Conference titled 'University and Olympic sports: two models – one goal?', is currently being held on the sidelines of the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan. A part of the conference is dedicated to the role of media in university and Olympic sports.

Researchers at the University of Beijing were interested in figuring out which types of news media viewers preferred for obtaining information during large-scale sporting events. They have noticed that, recently, there has been a trend towards favouring new e-media, the interactive, colourful and dynamic sources, over the time-honoured TV, newspapers and radio. Zhong Zheng, a representative from the University of Beijing, presented a paper at the conference titled “The study of the new media in the Ninth National University Games”.

Zhong noted: “Media allows people that were not able to get to the stadium feel that indescribable atmosphere of the competition.”

The 9th National University Games were held in the city of Tianjin in 2012, with the participation of 6,196 athletes and coaches, 1,200 judges and around 4,000 volunteers. The games attracted an audience of 130 million viewers. The researchers used the random sampling method to interview 300 people - athletes, judges, volunteers and the general public - with questions regarding their preferred way of obtaining news about the Games.

As it turned out, the respondents most often turned to e-media for their news coverage: 18.2% visited the official site, 13.5% received their news about the Games from popular online sources, 12.9% visited social networking sites and microblogs and only 10.7% of the respondents followed the games on TV.   

Online media is more up-to-date while allowing interaction and communication. The viewers are able to not only read the news, but leave comments as well, becoming an author of news themselves.

It bears noting that those who prefer new media over the traditional TV and newspaper are still facing some problems such as low internet speeds or lack of Wi-Fi coverage. On the other hand, e-media providers face other problems, such as difficulties in finding their target audience, because it is often the case that internet users simply do not know about the existence of one resource or another.

The Chinese researchers concluded that it was precisely the new media that helped enhance the viewers’ experience at the National Games, and this tendency will only be developing further.

Zhong noted that, during the 27th Summer Universiade 2013 in Kazan, both the users and creators of e-media need to be aware of these problems.

“However, I think that both the representatives and users of the new internet-based media feel more comfortable here,” Zhong concluded. 

Media Department of Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate